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Re: Handling XML files specially in Subversion

From: Branko Čibej <brane_at_xbc.nu>
Date: 2002-07-24 18:19:17 CEST

Hi Rick,

Richard Beton wrote:

> Hi All,
> The Subversion docs describe the differences between text and binary
> files (line end conversion and keyword expansion). There may be a
> third type: XML. XML files are always text files, perhaps with a
> specified encoding (see below), but their structured format means that
> two canonically-identical XML documents can have different whitespace
> and layout.
> Has any thought been given to supporting XML documents intrinsically?
> This would mean diff and merge would not be sensitive to whitespace
> when dealing with XML. By this I mean that diff and merge would
> operate on canonicalised representations of the XML, rather than
> treating XML as just fancy text.
> This might be quite hard to implement, but would give Subversion
> another unique feature ahead of the pack!

The idea is not new, and we do in fact have plans to address it (in a
more general way) after 1.0.

What we'll do is add support for client-side plug-ins (e.g., for diff
and merge) that the client would select based ont the file's
svn:mime-type property. Actually writing those plug-ins will probably
not be done within the Subversion project, of course, but the support
will be there.

> Also note that XML files are always internationalized. They may have
> any encoding as specified in the first line of the file, otherwise
> Unicode is assumed, for which the UTF variant can be deduced. They
> always start with "<?xml" (following the Unicode Byte Order Mark if
> present) so recognising XML files (vs text or binary files) can be
> made automatic. Subversion should support this too.

That would be the client-side plug-in's job.

Brane Čibej   <brane_at_xbc.nu>   http://www.xbc.nu/brane/
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Received on Wed Jul 24 18:20:17 2002

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